Spain Investment Visa: Requirements, Benefits, Rules
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Spain Investment Visa: Requirements, Benefits, Rules

Establishing a business presence in Spain can be a complex endeavor, especially for international companies aiming to explore new commercial opportunities. Understanding the intricacies of the Spain Investment Visa is crucial for entrepreneurs and investors seeking to gain a foothold in the Spanish market. This article is a comprehensive guide on the requirements, benefits, and rules surrounding the Spain Investment Visa. We will delve into the types of qualifying investments, necessary documentation, application procedures, and much more to ensure that potential investors are well-informed about this valuable immigration option. Whether you’re considering opening a subsidiary, launching a startup, or simply investing in Spanish assets, this article will serve as your roadmap to achieving your business objectives through the Spain Investor Visa.

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What is Spain’s Investment Visa?

Spain’s Investment Visa, commonly referred to as the Golden Visa, is a residence permit designed to attract non-EU investors willing to make a substantial capital contribution to the Spanish economy. This visa serves a dual purpose: it stimulates foreign direct investment and offers a gateway for investors and their families to obtain residency—and potentially citizenship—in Spain. The visa is available to those who invest in real estate, shares, or bonds, and it is particularly appealing due to the visa-free access it provides across Europe’s Schengen Area.

The program targets affluent individuals and extends eligibility to legal entities, provided they are not domiciled in tax havens. To qualify, an investor must hold majority voting rights and the ability to appoint or dismiss most board members. Alongside the primary investor, immediate family members—including spouses or life partners, dependent children of any age, and dependent ascendants—can also benefit from the investor visa, thus securing a future in Spain for the entire family.

Spain’s allure as an investment destination is undeniable. Its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and strategic location make it an attractive option for investors seeking more than just financial returns. The Spain Residence by Investment Program simplifies the residency acquisition process, enabling investors and their families to become temporary residents within a matter of weeks. After five years of continuous residence, these individuals may apply for permanent residency and eventually pursue Spanish citizenship, subject to immigration regulations. Recognized for its value and efficiency, the program ranks highly on the Global Residence Program Index, reflecting Spain’s commitment to welcoming global investors.

Planning to leverage the Spain Investment Visa for your business ambitions? At LAWANTS, we excel in facilitating foreign entrepreneurs with tailored legal services that ensure a smooth and successful entry into the Spanish market. Contact us to navigate the complexities of the investment visa and start your entrepreneurial journey with expert guidance at every step.

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What are the qualifying investments for the Investor Visa for Spain?

Securing a Spain Investment Visa requires a substantial financial commitment in one of several qualifying investment categories. These investments not only open the door to residency for the investor but also contribute to the economic vitality of Spain.

Below are the primary investment routes and their respective minimum investment thresholds:

  • Real Estate Investment: An investment of at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate is required. This can include residential or commercial properties, and the investor has the flexibility to rent out these properties. Multiple investors can pool their resources into a single property, with any amount beyond the minimum potentially financed through a mortgage.
  • Capital Transfer: A minimum of €1 million invested in Spanish public debt securities such as Treasury Bonds, which offer financial security and competitive returns, is one route. Alternatively, this amount can be invested in shares of Spanish companies or in bank deposits with Spanish financial institutions. The investor may also choose to allocate €1 million into investment funds or venture capital funds that are incorporated in Spain and engaged in actual business activities.
  • Business Development: Investors can contribute a minimum of €1 million towards business projects that are deemed to be of general interest to Spain. This could involve creating jobs, having a socio-economic impact in a specific geographic area, or contributing to scientific or technological innovation.

Each of these investment options is designed to boost Spain’s economy while providing investors with a valuable opportunity for residency. For those investing in real estate, it’s worth noting that if a couple makes the investment jointly, one spouse can apply for an investor visa while the other may obtain a visa as a family member. In cases where the investment involves a business project, an investor may appoint a representative to manage the project and handle affairs related to obtaining the visa. With these diverse options, investors have multiple avenues to both support Spain’s economic growth and achieve their personal and family residency objectives.

Spain Investment Visa: documents required

Securing a Spain Investment Visa requires a meticulous compilation of various documents to support your application. Below is a comprehensive list of the necessary paperwork:

  • National Visa Application Form: A completed and signed visa application form for each applicant.
  • Photograph: A recent, passport-size, color photograph with a light background that meets the specified requirements.
  • Valid Passport: An original and photocopy of the biometric data page(s) with at least one year’s validity and two blank pages.
  • Investment Documentation: Depending on the investment type, this could include:
    • A declaration of investment for unquoted stocks and shares.
    • A certificate from a financial intermediary or bank for quoted stocks or public debt investments.
    • A bank certificate for bank deposits.
    • A Land Register certificate and sale deed for real estate investments.
    • A favorable report for business projects indicating the general interest served by the project.
  • Financial Means: Evidence of sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any accompanying family members.
  • Criminal Record Check Certificate: Original and copy of criminal record check certificates from the past two years, with a sworn declaration regarding criminal records over the last five years.
  • Health Insurance: Documentation of public or private health insurance contracted with an insurer authorized to operate in Spain.
  • Proof of Residence in Consular District: Evidence of legal residence within the consular district or proof of attending classes there.
  • Proof of Representative’s Identity and Capacity: If applicable, a copy of the representative’s identity document and proof of representation.
  • Visa Fee Payment: Proof of payment for the visa fee in local currency at the time of application submission.

For family members accompanying the investor, additional documents are required, including:

  • All documents listed in points 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10 above.
  • Evidence of family relationship with the investor such as birth or marriage certificates.
  • For adult children, proof of financial dependence and civil status.
  • For ascending relatives, proof that they are under the investor’s care.

All foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and accompanied by an official Spanish translation if necessary. The consulate may request further documentation or interviews as needed to assess the application. It’s essential to ensure all documentation is current, accurately filled out, and duly translated to facilitate a smooth application process.

Spain Investor Visa: requirements

To be eligible for the Spain Investor Visa, applicants must meet several criteria, which include financial, legal, and health stipulations.

Here is a list of the basic requirements:

  • Minimum Investment Amount: Applicants must invest at least €500,000 in real estate, €2 million in Spanish Government Bonds, or €1 million in shares of Spanish companies.
  • Age: Applicants must be over 18 years of age.
  • Legal Residency: Applicants must not be illegally residing in Spain.
  • Clean Criminal Record: Applicants must have a clean criminal record for the past five years and should not be listed as undesirable persons.
  • Health Insurance: Applicants must have a private or public health insurance policy to cover their stay in Spain.
  • Sufficient Funds: Applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves without the need to work in Spain.
  • No Entry Rejection: Applicants must not have been rejected for residency from certain other countries or from Spain itself.
  • Health Standards: Applicants must not suffer from any of the illnesses considered a threat to public health according to the 2005 regulation.

The investment projects considered for the Golden Visa Spain should also fulfill additional criteria:

  • Job Creation: The investment should be a driver of job creation.
  • Positive Impact: The investment should have a positive social or economic impact on the geographical area where it is made.
  • Contribution to Innovation: The investment should contribute significantly to scientific and/or technological innovation.

Investing in Spanish start-ups is another avenue, with over 3,000 start-ups available for investment. The Spanish government has introduced tax incentives to promote these investments (read our guide to Spain’s Startup Law). However, due to complex legal procedures associated with this option, it is highly recommended to seek professional assistance.

Spain Investment Visa: application procedure

The application process for the Spain Investment Visa is a structured and multi-stage procedure designed to evaluate the eligibility of the investor. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to apply:

  1. Investment and Documentation: The initial step involves choosing your preferred investment option, which could be in real estate, government bonds, or shares in Spanish companies. Once the investment is made, you should gather all necessary documents, ensuring they meet legal requirements such as translations and legalizations.
  2. Submission of Application: Applications must be submitted within one year of making the capital investment. This can be done at the Spanish consulate in your consular district or through a duly accredited representative. If you are legally present in Spain, you may also apply there.
  3. Proof of Receipt: Upon submitting your application, you will receive a receipt with a code that allows you to check the status of your application online.
  4. Rectification and Interview: If any documents are missing or additional information is required, the Consular Office will request these. You may also be called for a personal interview.
  5. Decision Period: A decision is typically made within 10 days from the submission date, although this period may be extended if additional documents or an interview are required.
  6. Visa Collection: If approved, the visa must be collected in person or by a representative within one month from notification. This visa is valid for one year and allows residence in Spain without the need for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE), although you can apply for one through the Large Companies Unit.
  7. Appeals: In case of visa refusal, you can appeal to the Consular Office within one month or file a judicial review with the High Court Justice of Madrid within two months.

The Spain Investment Visa process comprises two main stages:

  • Residence Visa Application: In the first phase, non-residents apply for a Spanish residence visa that allows them to reside and work in Spain for one year.
  • Residence Permit Application: In the second phase, applicants can apply for a Spanish residence permit. If already in Spain on a tourist visa, they can directly apply for the residence permit, bypassing the first phase.

The residence permit covers the main investor, spouse or partner (including unmarried or same-sex unions), and all economically dependent descendants. While there is no minimum stay requirement to maintain residence status, obtaining the first residence permit requires a visit to Spain.

Throughout this process, it is advisable to have professional guidance to navigate legal complexities and ensure compliance with all requirements.

Exploring the benefits of the Spain Investment Visa? Connect with us at LAWANTS, where our specialized team is equipped to help you capitalize on this opportunity. We offer comprehensive support from obtaining your visa to establishing your business, all tailored to your unique needs. Contact us today and make informed decisions with our expert advice.

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Timeline and processing

The processing timeline for the Spain Investor Visa is relatively swift, reflecting the Spanish government’s commitment to attracting foreign investment. From the moment of application submission, the immigration procedure is expected to take approximately 20 days. This expedited process is contingent upon the submission of a complete and accurately documented application.

Once the application is received, it undergoes a review process where all documents are verified, and any additional information or corrections are requested. It’s important to note that while the standard decision period is 10 days, this can be extended if an interview is deemed necessary or if further documentation is required.

Applicants should be aware that certain factors could potentially delay the process. These include incomplete applications, inaccuracies in documentation, high volumes of applications during peak times, or unforeseen circumstances affecting consular operations. To mitigate these delays, it is advisable to ensure all paperwork is thoroughly prepared and submitted well in advance of any anticipated travel dates.

In summary, while the Spain Investor Visa process is designed to be efficient, applicants should plan for a reasonable buffer period to accommodate any unexpected delays and ensure a smooth transition to Spanish residency.

Permanent residency and spanish citizenship through the investment visa program

The Spain Investment Visa is the first step for non-EU investors seeking to establish long-term residency in Spain, potentially leading to citizenship.

Initially, the investment visa grants temporary residency. To transition to permanent residency, investors must maintain their investment and fulfill the requirement of living in Spain for a continuous period of five years. After this period, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency, provided they have abided by all legal obligations and have no criminal record.

Achieving Spanish citizenship through the Investment Visa is a longer process, typically taking place in the 10th year of residence. Investors must demonstrate a significant commitment to Spain, including integration into Spanish society, which is often evidenced by proficiency in the Spanish language and an understanding of Spanish culture. It’s important to note that there are exceptions to the 10-year rule; certain individuals, such as Sephardi Jews or citizens from countries with historical ties to Spain like Equatorial Guinea, Latin America, and the Philippines, may apply for citizenship after only two years of effective residence.

For those considering Spanish citizenship, it is essential to be aware that Spain generally requires individuals to renounce their original citizenship, with some exceptions based on country of origin. This is a significant legal step that requires careful consideration and consultation with legal professionals who can provide tailored advice based on individual circumstances.

In conclusion, while the Golden Visa offers a pathway to residency and potential citizenship in Spain, it involves stringent criteria and legal steps that must be meticulously followed. Prospective applicants should engage with experienced lawyers to navigate this process successfully. Contact our lawyers at LAWANTS for tailored legal assistance.

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Renewal of the Investment Visa for Spain

The Spain Investor Visa, often referred to as the Golden Visa, is not just a one-time entry permit but a renewable pathway to long-term residency. Initially, the visa is granted for one year, offering investors the flexibility to experience life in Spain while contributing to its economy.

For those looking to extend their stay, the investor visa can be renewed for additional two-year periods, up to a total of five years. This paves the way towards applying for permanent residency, which can be sought after maintaining five consecutive years of legal residence in Spain.

To ensure a successful renewal of the Investor Visa, applicants must adhere to specific conditions. These include:

  • Holding a current Investors Residence Visa or applying within 90 days of its expiry;
  • Proving at least one visit to Spain during the previous year;
  • Demonstrating that the initial investment is still active and substantial.

Additionally, all original visa requirements must continue to be met, including financial stability and a clean criminal record.

Maintaining the investment throughout this period is crucial; it is the cornerstone upon which the visa’s renewal hinges. This commitment reflects an ongoing contribution to the Spanish economy and solidifies the investor’s eligibility for continued residency. With diligent adherence to these requirements, investors can smoothly transition from temporary residency towards permanent residency and eventually consider Spanish citizenship, subject to further criteria and timeframes.

Benefits of the Spain Investor Visa

The Spain Investor Visa offers many advantages that extend beyond the initial financial investment. One of the most significant benefits is the freedom of movement within the Schengen Area, which includes 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. This allows for seamless travel and business operations across a vast and economically diverse region.

Living in Spain comes with an enviable quality of life, characterized by its majestic landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm climate. Investors and their families can enjoy access to Spain’s renowned public healthcare system, which is known for its high standards and accessibility. Education is another key benefit, with a wide array of excellent schools offering tuition in multiple languages including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Mandarin, catering to the international community.

Family reunification is a cornerstone of the Spain Investor Visa program. Applicants can include their spouse or unmarried partner, financially dependent children of any age (with adult children needing to be full-time students), and financially dependent parents over the age of 65. This inclusivity underscores Spain’s commitment to not just attract investors but also to provide a conducive environment for their families.

For those looking towards retirement, Spain’s financial market offers a variety of pension schemes, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking a comfortable lifestyle. Additionally, certain individuals may be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship after two years of effective residence, including Sephardic Jews and their descendants, as well as citizens from Ibero-American countries and other specified nations.

Overall, the Spain Investor Visa serves as a gateway to Europe for non-EU investors, offering them a stable and prosperous environment to live, work, and raise a family while enjoying all the cultural and economic benefits that come with residency in an EU country.

Challenges and considerations

While the Spain Investor Visa offers numerous benefits, prospective applicants should be aware of certain challenges and considerations that accompany the investment process. One of the primary concerns is the need for comprehensive due diligence. Investors must thoroughly vet potential investments to ensure they meet the program’s criteria and are financially sound. This requires a deep understanding of the market and the various investment opportunities available.

Navigating the Spanish legal and tax systems can also present a significant challenge, particularly for those unfamiliar with Spain’s regulatory environment. The complexity of these systems underscores the importance of seeking professional advice from experts who specialize in Spanish law and taxation. Legal and financial advisors can provide invaluable guidance throughout the application process, ensuring compliance with all requirements and optimizing tax strategies.

Another consideration is the impact of political and economic stability on investments. Spain, like any country, is subject to fluctuations in its political landscape and economic conditions, which can affect investment outcomes. It is crucial for investors to stay informed about these dynamics and consider how they may influence both short-term operations and long-term investment goals.

In conclusion, while the Spain Investor Visa can serve as a powerful tool for gaining residency and accessing the European market, it is essential for investors to approach the process with a strategic mindset. Due diligence, an understanding of legal and tax implications, and professional advice are key components to successfully navigating the complexities of investing in Spain. By acknowledging these challenges and preparing accordingly, investors can position themselves to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Spain Investor Visa program.

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FAQ

Navigating the intricacies of Spain’s Investment Visa can often raise questions for potential investors. To provide clarity and aid in the decision-making process, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, offering insights and up-to-date information on some of the most pertinent aspects of the visa program.

Is the Spain Investor Visa ending?

Rumors and discussions periodically circulate regarding the future of investment-based visa programs. As of the latest updates, there are no official statements or legislation indicating that the Spain Investor Visa, commonly referred to as the Golden Visa, is coming to an end. The Spanish government continues to welcome foreign investment through this program, recognizing its value in contributing to economic growth. Investors can rest assured that the program remains active and available for qualifying individuals.

Can I get a visa in Spain if I buy a property?

Yes, buying property in Spain is indeed one of the qualifying routes for obtaining an Investor Visa. To be eligible, the property purchase must meet or exceed the minimum investment threshold of €500,000. It is important to note that this investment must be made without any financing or loans; the funds must come from the investor’s own resources. Property investment is a popular choice for many applicants due to its tangibility and potential for appreciation over time.

What is the minimum investment for the Spain Investor Visa?

The minimum investment for the Spain Investor Visa varies depending on the type of investment chosen. For real estate purchases, as mentioned earlier, a minimum of €500,000 is required. For those interested in other investment vehicles, different thresholds apply: a minimum of €2 million must be invested in Spanish public debt, at least €1 million in shares or business projects considered of general interest, or €1 million in bank deposits within Spanish financial institutions. These options provide flexibility for investors with different interests and financial strategies while ensuring significant contributions to Spain’s economy.

Are you ready to invest in Spain and need guidance on the Spain Investment Visa? At LAWANTS, we are dedicated to assisting international investors like you. From legal requirements to business setup, our experts ensure your investment process is efficient and compliant. Contact us and start your investment journey with the assurance of professional support.

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